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Dear Ally,

I’m a freshman in high school and I think I might be gay, I’m kind of an Emo but I don’t want to be that stario type. I have been watching p**rn but I don’t really get turned on by the guys, does this make me gay, I don’t really like girls eathier but I do have more feelings for them than guys. But how do I know?

Hey there, friend –

It can be really tough to wonder about your sexuality – especially in high school, where you’re changing and growing so much! Remember to be patient with yourself, and know that you don’t have to have it all figured out now.

There’s no one way to know if you’re gay. Some people realize that they’re gay when they notice themselves being attracted to classmates of the same gender. Some people know when they have a relationship with someone of the same gender, and it feels Just Right. Some people watch pornography, and find themselves turned on by one participant more than another.

It’s important to know that absence of attraction to one gender doesn’t imply the presence of attraction to another.

Let me break that down.

Just because you’re not turned on by looking at men having sex doesn’t necessarily mean that you are turned on looking at women having sex. You’re a freshman in high school – you’re not too young to know who you’re attracted to – but you don’t have to know yet. If you’re not turned on by guys, that might mean that you’re not into guys. If you don’t really like girls, you might not be into girls. And your body/brain might not be sure yet. Some people know who they’re attracted to in middle school, some people know in college, and others figure it out later in life. There’s no rush.

There are a number of identities that might fit your experience. You might be gay if you’re attracted to girls and not guys. You might be asexual if you’re not attracted to people of any gender. You might be bisexual if you feel some attraction to girls and some attraction to guys.

I’d love to suggest that you find a community of other people with similar experiences to you; either in person (a school GSA or a local LGBTQ youth group) or online (something like TrevorSpace).

And if you need anything, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m always here to talk.

Your friend,